ÖBB punctuality improves

The number of trains arriving on time in Austria is on the rise, it has been announced.Federal Railways (ÖBB) said today (Thurs) 94.2 per cent of all of its services were less than five minutes late last year, up from 90.5 per cent in 2009. The company added 97.6 per cent of its trains went on time in the first two months of 2011.The state-owned firm pointed out it was getting closer to figures recorded by Swiss Federal Railways (SBB). SBB is widely considered as a role model railway operator for its punctuality, excellent infrastructure and high standard of overall service. ÖBB said 96.3 per cent of SBB’s trains arrived on time in 2009 (2010: 96.1 per cent).ÖBB has been harshly criticised by politicians for soaring debts, while pressure groups attacked the firm over an allegedly confusing new ticket sale system.The company faces tough competition in the near future as construction industry businessman Hans Peter Haselsteiner said his Westbahn project would start offering connections between the cities of Vienna and Salzburg in December. The route connecting the federal capital and the provincial capital of Salzburg is the only railway service ÖBB is currently making a profit with.